Fouad El-Abd, the founder and president of leading canned food company California Gardens, has pledged a substantial gift towards the Lebanese American University (LAU). His contribution will go towards naming and establishing the Fouad El-Abd Nutrition Lab in the university’s Science Building located at the Byblos campus.
“I really hope that the gift will help students to grow and develop products, and to eventually create thriving businesses which help a lot of people in the process,” commented El-Abd, a member of LAU’s Board of International Advisors, during a signing ceremony held on October 3, 2016 at LAU’s Beirut campus.
The nutrition lab will house state-of-the-art equipment with the intention of it becoming a key asset to LAU due to its eventual capacity to provide food testing as well as provide experiential research opportunities for students as they prepare for their careers in the industry.
Praising El-Abd’s dedication to the region and its youth, LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra said at the event, “Education is the only way forward, and I thank Mr. El-Abd for being with us on this journey.”
Jabbra also highlighted the importance of industry connecting with universities to share knowledge and provide support where needed. “Mr. El-Abd is doing so much in the area of food and food sciences, and I know LAU is going to be a better institution because of his association with us,” explained Jabbra at the ceremony attended by senior LAU staff and Dr. Mahmoud Kreidie, a member of LAU’s Board of International Advisors and close friend of El-Abd.
El-Abd launched California Gardens in 1980 to supply the Middle East and Far East with quality and affordable canned food products from California. Today, the company produces millions of cases of food products annually, making it an important partner for LAU’s growing Nutrition Department.
“Mr. El-Abd is a wonderful ambassador for LAU and a great member of our Board of International Advisors,” stated Marla Rice-Evans, LAU Vice President for Advancement, at the ceremony.
Commenting on his commitment to LAU and Lebanon, El-Abd said, “Lebanon is a wonderful country and we have so much talent, and education is the only way to go forward. And the students are lucky to have this university and its leaders to learn from.”